22 February 2012


I'm guessing that most of you read Joanna Goddard's blog Cup of Jo. A little while back, she had a great post on authenticity, complete with an email from her mom. (Does everyone email their Moms when stuck or confused? I certainly hope so. The Moms of the world have such collective wisdom.)

I loved her mom's email so much I couldn't help but excerpt a bit of it (and there's even more good stuff here).
"It seems to me that being authentic is being brave enough or just candid enough to be honest about what you are experiencing or who you are, whether it is popular are not. A person gives a gift to other people when they say, 'This is what happened to me or this is how I truly feel, no matter what the popular belief is about what I should feel.' ... You are never alone in what you are feeling."
Lately, I've been thinking about why I'm blogging. A part of it is to keep in touch with those I love. But it would be easier -- and much more personal -- to simply email or call or even use (gasp) Facebook. After all, in the blogging world, I don't get to hear what's going on in those lives back home. In that regard, this blog is a terrible form of communication; it's annoyingly one sided. It's a bit like I am chatting to myself in a hotel room. (Jokes on me because that is EXACTLY my reality these days.)

I write on Jackson Riley because I love writing. I love putting words on paper; I express myself so much better here then I do anywhere else. I feel the most ME with a pen in my hand (Okay, okay. The pen lost to the keyboard a long time ago). I like who I am when I write.

But why write here, I guess? Why write on a blog, especially since 'blog' has to be the silliest word in the English language? (Say it. Say blog. Doesn't it sound like there is a bunch of air in your mouth that just has to escape in a big, round bubble? It's a gross word.) Digression on lexicon aside, I don't really have an answer for why I write here. I wish I did. I certainly hope to one day. It will probably be one of those annoying things where I won't get the answer until much, much later, when the purpose and meaning of so many things is more clear. Fucking hindsight, always so smug.

Something about Jo's post began to bring it to the surface: I write to share my experiences in the most universal way I can muster. I think I've been aware of that, somewhere in the deep, and I'm just now beginning to be able to put words to it. I write to share my experiences, but not quite. I write to share my experiences in a way that you know what I'm talking about, in a way that resonates with you, even if we are totally different people, at totally different stages of our lives, and we don't even really know each other. I think that's why I write here as opposed to strictly in my own journal: I like the connection that writing like this brings, even if I don't get to hear the reverberations (and here's to hoping there are reverberations, even tiny ones). It helps this hotel room feel much bigger than the actual square footage.

All tattoo photos via Pintrest, with no discernable source. If you know where one is from, please help a girl out and I'll update.


  1. I think it's amazing and you are doing it for you!

  2. Hi. My name is Rachel, I work with your mother in law. She showed me your blog and I just want to say that I love it! You have a real talent for writing (that I'm somewhat jealous of). I also love hearing about your experiences in Japan. Keep it up!


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